"Mr Blair and Mr Bush must do some reflection and self-criticism... you can't organize a war with lies," he said in remarkably frank comments for the next prime minister of Western Europe's youngest democracy and fifth largest economy."
However, we must also be quick to note that his decision is, in our judgment, seriously flawed with his attendant proviso:
"Zapatero, due to take office within the next month, repeated several times Monday his campaign pledge to pull out troops unless the United Nations takes charge in Iraq by mid-year -- a shift in control that he said was unlikely."
Invasion and Occupation in Clear Violation of Westphalian Sovereignty
Replacing U.S., British and Spanish and other occupying troops in Iraq with U.N. troops "taking charge" of Iraq by midsummer is a no more and no less than a thinly-veiled disguise for continued occupation of this sovereign nation. I make no claim to be an authority on all that is to be understood about the sovereignty of nations. But the violations and undermining of the sovereign state by Corporate Global Empire is not difficult to understand. In 1648, The Treaty of Westphalia granted sovereignty to the world's nation-states as a protection from interference in domestic affairs and invasion by other nations. Westphalian sovereignty has been the standard to which nations have been held for over 400 years. The results of a simple internet search on "Westphalian Sovereignty" are replete with attacks against the sovereignty of the nation-state today by the empire. In his book, Hydra of Carnage, Craig B. Hulet provides an excellent treatment of how self-determination and sovereignty of all nations, including the U.S., is being undermined and violated by the Corporate Global Empire.
The Credo of the Global Anti-War Movement
The attacks of the American-led Corporate Global Empire on Afghanistan and Iraq are clear violations of that sovereignty and amount to nothing less than international war crimes. The anti-war movement should not, cannot compromise our position: Get all U.S., British, Spanish troops and any others participating in the invasion of Iraq - out of Iraq - unconditionally and now - not by midsummer and not to be replaced with another occupying force, as Zapatero seems to suggest. Any statement by the Anti-War movement supporting U.N. occupation of Iraq as an alternative is not "anti-war" or "anti-occupation" at all.
In the past, we have witnessed some contingents of the "anti-war" movement, using slogans like: "Sanctions not War" - a clear violation of national sovereignty. We saw it during the first invasion of Iraq in 1991 by Bush-the-Elder, when some "Anti-War Activists" marched down Pennsylvania Avenue with chants and slogans bearing these words. We also witnessed 8 years of sanctions against Iraq, enforced by the Clinton regime, commonly ignored by some who claim to be opposed to the war on Iraq and wistfully yearn for a more Clintonesque president.
These foreign polices of Bush the Elder and William Jefferson Clinton were also in service to Corporate Global Empire. Now we have some current "anti-war" activists rallying behind John Kerry as the one who will save Iraq and the world from the ignorant and brutal policies of the current Bush-the-Younger regime.
We must remember that William Jefferson Clinton was responsible for more deaths in Iraq than the brutal George Walker Bush. Estimates of up to 1.5 million deaths (many of them children) resulted from the sanctions and weekly missile attacks on Iraq during the Clinton Administration's 8 years in office. We remember well the chilling, infamous words of Clinton's Ambassador to the U.N., Madeleine Albright. When asked by Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes - if Clinton's policies of sanctions and attacks on Iraq were worth the deaths of 500,000 children, she replied: "We think it was worth it".
It should now be obvious to even the most casual observer that the members of Corporate Global Empire have added the deaths and suffering of the hundreds of thousands of Afghan, Iraqi and American military to that price-tag, and have collectively deemed their deaths and sufferings a price-worth-paying for reaching their global objectives.
Rationalizations for Invasion and Occupation
There are those today who claim the need for U.N. occupation of Iraq "because Iraq may fall into civil war"; others claim occupation is necessary to "save" the Iraqi people from theocratic control or another dictatorship; others claim Iraq must be occupied to save the Iraqi people from poverty, suffering and death - while the occupiers continue their killing; others use the villain, Saddam Hussein and his butcheries to justify the continuing, murderous occupation of Iraq; still others claim the Iraqi people must be protected from themselves and that democracy must be installed at the point of a gun.
But we remember the ludicrous U.S. justification for the ongoing invasion, killing, rape and pillaging of Afghanistan - to save the Afghan women from the "Burka"! Most sovereign nations have gone through all sorts of human suffering and even civil war (U.S. 1861-1865) to mature into what the people want for governance. Most have also had to fight off foreign invaders to protect their national sovereignty.
Which Iraqi would you rather be?
In a recent discussion with one of the organizers of the Anti-War movement in Boston, he facetiously proposed,
"Forming a committee for the re-election of George Bush" in 2004".
I knew why he made this proposal in the privacy of our home, but asked for his thoughts. In reply, he asked me,
"If you were an Iraqi, would you prefer helplessly watching a half million of your children die under the sanctions and missile attacks of the Clinton Administration, with no opportunity to fight back .... or would you prefer being an Iraqi under the Bush Regime now, with the opportunity to join the resistance and fight the occupiers for your lives and your national sovereignty?"
Certainly two terrible alternatives -- But it was not a difficult question to answer.
Empire's "Democratization" = Colonization
No foreign nation has the authority or responsibility to "protect" another sovereign nation "from themselves". Whether the empire be Roman, British, or the current U.S.-led Corporate Global Empire, the occupation is quite simply - colonization of other sovereign nations for empire's interest and profit. Empires' objectives are the same - World Domination. Their crimes are the same. The resulting humiliation and poverty of the victim-nation are the same. The suffering and death are the same. Only the weapons and size of the destruction are different. None of them- The U.S., the U.K., Spain, nor any other nation has been invited to occupy Iraq by the Iraqi people. They want us out now! In point of fact, the Iraqi people are leveling a formidable war of resistance against these occupying forces even as you read these words.
Whether in reference to the bloody hands of the Clinton Administration, the 2 Bush Administrations, the United Nations, or any other occupying force in Iraq, we must stand firm on our opposition to the violations of Iraq's sovereignty - regardless of the justifications and rationalizations perpetrated by the warring and occupying parties. Zapatero's promise to withdraw Spanish troops is not a valid promise, as long as it is predicated on the transparent, immoral and illegal premise that the current invader-occupiers are replaced by U.N. troops.
As a Global Anti-War Movement, we must be clear and remain strong in our resolve to fight for the independence and self-determination of the Iraqi people. In doing so, we fight for our own right to self-determination and national sovereignty. Foreign nations have a singular responsibility to the Iraqi people - to make reparations as the people of Iraq request them - to repay the destruction the U.S. and British militaries have wreaked upon these people. We must stand firm in our resolve. This is the only legal, moral and ethical position for a valid and honest Global Anti-War Movement to affirm.
The Real Beast is the Corporate Global Empire that sets its boot down in every nation-state, making war, violating national sovereignty, attacking self-determination, making war where it will and making its own rules as it deems necessary. The Beast ponders, plans and executes it's nefarious decisions through the auspices of the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and their globalization policies of NAFTA, FTAA and other international trade agreements. The Anti-War Movement will only facilitate and enable the world-wide mission of the Beast if it does not make clear the nature of the enemy and attack it at the jugular.
The Beast is One, but Wears a Coat of Many Colors
He may be American-Led, but he hails from almost every nation. He consists of the few, not the many. He is the regime in the U.S., the regime in the U.K., in China, Turkey, Russia, Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, many other countries throughout the world, and possibly the new Zapatero regime in Spain. He is a beast that appears to be invincible - an image that is sculpted and polished daily by the corporate media conglomerates who are in his service.
The Beast Can and Will be Defeated
"Inevitability" is the doctrine sold day in and day out by the Beast's "economic experts" and uncritically accepted by so many of his victims. In his 1997 discourse, "Globalization, State Sovereignty, and the 'Endless' Accumulation of Capital", Giovanni Arrighi wrote:
"The chances are that the victory of the United States in what Fred Halliday (1983) has called the Second Cold War and the further Americanization of the world will appear in retrospect as closing moments of US world hegemony, just as Britain's victory in the First World War and the further expansion of its overseas empire were preludes to the final demise of British world hegemony in the 1930s and 1940s. As we shall see in section III, there are good reasons for expecting the demise of US hegemony to follow a different trajectory than the demise of British hegemony. But there are equally good reasons for expecting the present, US-led phase of financial expansion to be a temporary phenomenon, like the analogous British-led phase of a century ago."
I often hear those opposed to war say that any attempt to reverse the course of empire's globalization is futile. They view world domination by the Corporate Global Empire as inevitable. I hear others take comfort in the notion that it will fall under its own weight. Many feel helpless and impotent in the face of advances by empire toward a new global exonomy. With all due respect, I believe those who succumb to those views are at best ill-informed and at worst, in unwitting complicity. The beast must be fought. There is no alternative.
There is a powerful and ominous military opposition to the Beast afoot today. Its work was seen on 9/11/01 and apparently, most recently, in Madrid on March 11, 2004. The military opposition to the Beast is currently organized and growing around the world in the form of Urban Guerilla Warfare is described in detail in Craig B. Hulet's book, Hydra of Carnage.
Every life taken by the Beast, every person wounded, every house demolished, every family destroyed, every material object taken anywhere in the world, produces new recruits for the Urban Guerillas. Some wonder why Empire attacked Afghanistan and Iraq with full knowledge it would lead to a world-wide guerilla war. The answer is as simple as it is cruel. The beast cares not about those trampled underfoot, be they Afghan children, Iraqi mothers or American soldiers. The Beast cares only about domination. It considers those dead and suffering in its tracks, "worth it".
The Beast would have us believe our enemies are comprised of a few rag-tag "terrorists" - making it necessary to take our civil rights and attack other nations and races with impunity. Make no mistake - the formidable guerilla resistance Iraq is not interested in attacking their own civilians, their sole source of support and survival, but rather the occupiers and those Iraqis who support the occupation.
The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 9/11/01 were not directed at civilians, but at the symbols of the Corporate Empire that occupied their nations with military bases after "Desert Storm" in 1991. If indeed Al-Queda sponsored or executed the terrible bombing last week in Madrid, they did so with employment of Empire's murderous rationalization of "collateral damage". In Hydra of Carnage, Craig Hulet explains how the behaviors of the Urban Guerillas are patterned after the genius and powerful military strategies of Che Gueverra and Mao. He also reminds us that Guerillas have never lost a war, because their warfare is a warfare of attrition - Hit Empire hard. Then, rather than withdraw into the hills, as Che did, withdraw back into the cities and the populations around the world.
Did the Neocon/Bush/Rumsfeld headquarters really believe their clumsy "technology warfare" could kill every hidden, fleet-footed, street-savvy guerilla soldier throughout the world with it's destructive high-altitude bombers; imprecise, long-range missiles; Abram's tanks, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, and 130,000 troops trained for front-to-front combat? In order to defeat the guerillas, the Beast would have to kill every newly-recruited Guerilla and the massive populations that support and hide them. Not even Bush, Cheney, Blair, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle and Ariel Sharon combined can kill that fast.
Our work and battle against the Beast is with the weapons of words and truth. Until the advent of the Internet, the Beast had dominated and controlled the Government/Corporate newspapers and air waves. The FBI in the U.S. is currently launching an attack on the Internet to regain control, attack and eliminate this unprecedented channel of truth. But as all empires have failed, this one will come crashing down. It may be the shortest-lived empire in human history. The only remaining questions are "How long?" and "How many people will suffer?" before its legs collapse beneath it and leaves it in chaines-stokes, gasping it's last breath. Oh yes! - and a few more personal questions - Where will you and I be? What will be our positions? How will we serve? What will we give to the global movement against war?
The Beast's Clever Distractions
In every nation, the Principle Target must be identified and we must "name the name". It is not the ignorant and brutal Bush Regime. In the U.S. the Beast is not George Walker Bush, John Kerry, the "Republicans", the "Democrats". These "targets" are simply clever distractions from the "Real Beast". The so-called 2004 U.S. "elections"; George Bush; John Kerry; issues of "patriotism", religion, abortion, the death penalty, gun control, race, welfare, health-care, "national security", "terrorism" and "the economy" are clever distractions used by the Beast to distract us from the real face of the Beast. These distractions are carried out with dispatch by the Government/Corporate media. In the U.S. they are used to divide us one against another: Republican vs. Democrat and Conservative vs. Liberal, etc., to sap our energy and to prevent solidarity among us as a people - Solidarity, the one thing the Beast fears most.
Axis of Logic's Challenge to our Sisters and Brothers in the Global Anti-War Movement
To all those who are sacrificially joining the Global Anti-War Movement, we say,
"Take courage! Be of Good Cheer! Our fight against the Beast is one worthy of your time, money and energy! Many have gone before and have thwarted the enemy of the people in the past. Remember Chicago and Kent State in America's more recent history. Remember the invaders' humiliating defeat and retreat out of Viet Nam. In even more recent days, remember Chavez and the valiant people of Venezuela just last year!" Remember the Spanish people who stood 80%, "shoulder to shoulder" - demonstrating in the streets against Mr. Aznar - even before they suffered mass tragedy as a result of his war on Iraq.
Remember the many others in world history who have in solidarity, laid hold of the neck of the Beast and thrown him to the ground, time and time again! Let us lay aside our unworthy differences of method and ideology and unite on March 20, 2004 and in every Anti-War Mobilization that follows - in every countryside, pueblo, and city around the world, to confront the Real Beast - Corporate Global Empire. There can be no retreat. There can be no turning back.